Diet and arthritis

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How can changing my diet help my arthritis?

Several links between arthritis and diet have been discovered through research.

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Why is keeping to a healthy weight important?

The most important link between your diet and arthritis is your weight. In particular, osteoarthritis is closely linked with obesity. Evidence also shows that achieving a healthier weight can reduce inflammation, for example in rheumatoid arthritis. Read more >

How can I lose weight and eat a healthy diet?

Losing weight is very important because it reduces the strain on your joints. You can do this by:

  • eating less sugar and fat
  • taking regular exercise.
You could improve your diet by eating lots of fruit and vegetables, especially the brightly coloured variety. Read more >

What vitamins and minerals do I need?

You get most of your vitamins and minerals from the food you eat rather than from supplements. The most important vitamins and minerals for arthritis are:
  • calcium
  • vitamin D 
  • iron
  • vitamin C
  • selenium.
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Foods and supplements that might help

Some people find these products helpful:

  • omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil supplements) for inflammatory arthritis
  • glucosamine for osteoarthritis.
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Should I avoid certain foods?

Some people feel that certain foods are bad for arthritis and that cutting them out helps. However, we don’t recommend leaving these foods out of your diet because of the important nutrients they contain. Read more >

Do vegetarian or vegan diets help?

Some studies have shown that people who eat a lot of red meat seem to have a higher risk of developing inflammatory types of arthritis. And vegetarian diets have been shown to be helpful in the long term for some people with rheumatoid arthritis. A vegan diet, which doesn’t include any meat, fish or other animal products, may also be helpful. Make sure that you get all the vitamins and minerals you need, though. Read more >

Foods and supplements that are unlikely to help

Although there's no strong evidence that they work, some people find that the following help ease their symptoms:
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How can changing my diet help with gout?

If you have gout, these dietary changes might be helpful:
  • lose weight if you’re overweight
  • drink less alcohol (especially beer) and more water
  • eat less meat and oily fish, more fruit and vegetables
  • eat lower-fat dairy products.
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